You sat down next to me on the max this afternoon. You were elderly, on crutches, & carrying 2 backpacks. The man across from us was being belligerent & gave you a hard time. We looked at one another & i offered you a sympathetic smile. But that was all that i offered you.
i watched you struggle to stand up, to gather your bags & hobble out the door ~ your cardboard sign asking for help poking out of one of your bags.
Even though you will probably never read this, i want you to know that i saw you. i saw your brokenness, your humanity, your gentleness & your misery. As you were leaving, i chose to look down to hide the tears that were welling.
And yet, i did nothing. It did not occur to me until after you were gone to get off the train & offer to help carry your bags. Or to give you some of the few dollars that i have. To buy you some food or a cup of coffee & just BE with you~ human to human.
i am so sorry for my lack of humanity. i was afraid of the hurt & the loneliness in your eyes.
i saw my father, who is alcoholic & homeless off & on, & it hurt so much that i was paralyzed. If i see you again, or anyone so broken & in need of a helping hand, i will not stay silent & frozen. i WILL offer whatever i have to give ~ even if it's just a hand to carry your bags for you.
My heart is broken for you...but, please know that our silent meeting reminded me of all that i do have. On a day when i have been seriously contemplating ending my life. So many lessons learned today.